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April 2022 / Style & Wellbeing / by Sophie Hampton

Sparkles and Sustainability

Sponsored Post.

Can you have the fine jewellery you covet and still be a conscious consumer? For Covett, the answer is a resounding yes. A conscious consumer chooses to move away from the consumerist culture of buying more, more and more as quickly as possible and embrace making every purchase choice with a lens of the impact of that purchase. The first premise of conscious consumerism is to buy only what you need – but this, in many cases, can remove entire sectors from the market. Do I really need more jewellery? Probably not, but if I choose to have jewellery in my life, is there a way to access it when I want or need to wear it, rather than have it sit idle?

Le Ster Cherry trailblazer with bang studs

While most everyone understands the impact fast fashion has had on the planet and the need to reduce the amount of clothing that’s produced, consumed, and ends up in landfills, they may not understand the impacts of producing fine jewellery. Fine jewellery by its nature is much more durable, however, the jewellery industry clearly needs to reduce its negative impact on the environment ranging from erosion of the land to leakage of harmful chemicals into the water supply, to the alteration of an entire ecosystem. There’s also great concern over the exploitation of workers and hazardous working environments. While there are many initiatives which are focusing on reducing the environmental and social impacts of jewellery production, such as Fairtrade Gold, and the Responsible Jewellery Council, much more needs to be done, and it will take time. But can we change the way we consume fine jewellery now?

The rental revolution has kicked off with much fanfare as a more conscious way of consuming luxury goods. Sacha Newell, CEO of rental platform, My Wardrobe HQ, sees the logic in renting rather than buying as irrefutable: “Seven thousand eight hundred litres of water are used to make every pair of jeans. Sell 20 pairs and squander 156,000 litres. Rent the same pair out 20 times and the worst-case scenario is using 9,000 litres.” She says brands only stand to gain from the huge rental and resale opportunities: “A truly sustainable brand must do more than just do good, and benefit everyone.”

Covett has revolutionised fine jewellery with their shared ownership and subscription-based models, which allow for the sharing of fine jewellery driving up the utilisation of the pieces, and in most cases reducing the need to produce more fine jewellery that spends most of its life sitting in someone’s safe.

Ouroboros Necklace Pendant

Sharing jewellery can make having it a more conscious choice in the following ways:

  1. Increasing the utilisation of an item, to reduce the need to produce more, reducing environmental and social impacts.
  2. Reducing packaging by only using reusable packaging and not contributing to waste.
  3. Increasing the product’s life span by providing semi-annual maintenance.
  4. Providing a platform for the resale of jewellery shares and pieces, which extends its life.
  5. Providing a platform for the monetisation of jewellery that’s no longer being worn to have a second life and reduce the need for the purchase of new fine jewellery.

Sharing and circular economy models like Covett allow consumers who covet fine jewellery to be more conscious about how they consume fine jewellery. In addition, they work with many fine jewellers who are embracing more sustainable practices of producing fine jewellery creating a win/win for all.

If you’re interested in fine jewellery brands who are working towards creating more sustainable jewellery, you can look at several of Covett’s independent brands: The Rock Hound, a mission-based ethical gemmologist jeweller committed to the responsible sourcing of metals and gemstones; Ouroboros, working alongside such institutions as the dragonfly initiative and fairmindgold.org; and Le Ster, using low impact production techniques and conflict free stones.

cove.tt; Instagram: @covettluxury